Week 16 Playlist
Welcome to week 16 of the Isolation Room Listening Booth, songs as chosen by RPM club members week ending Friday 10th July. This time, in order of appearance in the ol’ In Box, it’s over to……………
Philip – “No doubt all RPMers are relieved that our totally honest and transparent Government with its' crystal clear messaging has eased the lockdown rules. After all, we can always trust them to tell us the truth, to admit to honest mistakes, and never ever under any circumstances to try to pin blame on others- such as scientists or care homes- for catastrophic errors or oversights on their part. Hence we are able to return to gallivanting merrily while singing "Hullo clouds, hullo sky," as is our wont.
Anyway, in spite of all that, here are this week's selections. As any fule kno, you can never have too many cowboy songs, and we'll start with the master of the genre, one of the all-time great pop vocalists………………. best wishes to one and all (and thanks to N. Molesworth).”
El Paso by Marty Robbins.
Big Iron, performed by Kingfish - “They were an offshoot of The Grateful Dead, led by Bob Weir, The Dead's rhythm guitarist. I remember buying their first album in 1976 and liking it- especially their version of this song, which is another associated with Marty Robbins. Here's a live performance of it on stage at Winterland.”
Lily, Rosemary and The Jack of Hearts performed by Tom Russell (2004 with vocal assistance from Eliza Gilkyson and Joe Ely) – “This is of course Dylan's long narrative ballad from "Blood on the Tracks." I have always thought it could form the basis for a Western movie, and I recently read that two scripts were developed from it (one commissioned by Dylan himself) but nothing ever came of either of them. How's that for useless trivia?”
Alan – “Time for something from across the Channel I think. Here's three girls from France...... I'll try and dig out three of their male counterparts soon..... keep well and enjoy your half price chips in a few weeks time courtesy of your caring Tory government!!!!”
I think It's Going to Rain Today performed by Claudine Longet released 1969, 'Colours' LP - “How lucky can you get? Claudine was appearing at the Tropicana Casino in Las Vegas in 1960 as part of the Folies Bergere dance troupe when, on one occasion, her car developed a flat tire whilst driving on the highway. Who should stop but ... Andy Williams who (ahem) helped her change a tyre and, presumably, managed to take her phone number too. Within a year the couple were married and she began appearing on his TV show but it was when she appeared in an episode of the popular Ben Gazzara series 'Run for your life', singing the Antonio Jobim's bossa nova 'Meditacao', that she was spotted by Herb Alpert who immediately made contact and signed her to his A&M label. She made several albums for the label and, from her fourth album 'Colours' I've selected this wispy album closer. Composed by Randy Newman, the song was also covered by many artists including Eric Burdon, Dusty Springfield, Bobby Darin, Nina Simone and even UB40 amongst others.”
Ne L'imite Pas (AKA: 'The Monkey Time') performed by Sylvie single released March 1964 (This from 1965 Spanish EP release) - “Bulgarian born Sylvie Vartan is, like many French singers, almost unknown in the UK. She had appeared in a Bulgarian film aged 8, just before her family emigrated to her father's home country, France. The film appearance had awoken the desire to become a performer and, in 1961, her music producer brother Eddie took her in to the studio to record her first EP with early French rocker Frankie Jordan (now a dentist, fact fans!!). Its success led to a solo EP and an appearance at the famed Paris Olympia with UK's early rock star Vince Taylor and a tour with (non rocker) Gilbert Becaud. Further hit singles followed and, in late 1963, she appeared with Johnny Halliday and, after announcing on TV their forthcoming nuptials, they decamped to Nashville to record a top selling album (in Europe) with the Jordanaires. By this time Sylvie had been featured on more magazine covers than Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, appeared in front of 200,000 in the Place de la Nation and sold millions of records, placing her second only to Elvis on RCA's books. Her initial 'ye ye' material gave way eventually to soul, show tunes, disco and, more recently, jazz but here, I've selected her cover of Major Lances 'The Monkey Time' (composed by Curtis Mayfield) from 1964. As an aside, is it me or did this version have a big influence on David Essex's 'Make you a star'??!!! “
Bonus track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w0SXVBDNek
Dix Heures En Eté (Ten hours in Summer) by Francoise Hardy released 1996, 'Le Danger' album track – “By far my favourite French 'chanteuse', Francoise is unfairly, perhaps, viewed as a 'sub' Marianne Faithfull figure here in the UK. However, it should be remembered that her debut single ('Tous le garcons et le filles') was a minor hit here in late 1962, a full two years before Faithfull's debut single 'As tears go by'. Hardy has appeared in films by respected directors Roger Vadim, Jean Luc Goddard and John Frankenheimer, modelled for Andre Courreges and featured on many magazine covers worldwide. By 1965's 'Mon amie la rose' album (featuring a beautiful early gatefold sleeve which must have influenced Tori Amos for her 'Beautiful Creatures' album cover) Hardy had 'gone electric' on some tracks with Mickey Baker (formerly of Mickey and Sylvia's 'Love is strange' fame) on guitar. She was also famously 'almost' dated by Bob Dylan in 1966, when he insisted on meeting her backstage at the Olympia before he would return for the second half of his concert. He had earlier dedicated a poem to her on his 'Another side of....' album but his courage must have failed him in his hotel room that night as he, allegedly, merely played her two new songs before (to quote the famous News of the World tag-line) she made her excuses and left. On 'Le Danger' Francoise is backed by a multitude of France's premier musicians on what has been described by critics as a melange of alt-rock, grunge, Brit-pop and Ry Cooder and it's certainly a gear change from her earlier work. By the time of its release she had recently recorded with Malcolm McLaren and Blur and would go on to appear alongside Iggy Pop and Irish folkie Perry Blake a year later. Her latest album was released as recently as 2018.”
Tony – “Here's my 3 for yet another week of fun. The door to the Isolation Room now appears to be ajar and hopefully, all of us still clinging to the wreckage, will be able to get together again as soon as it’s safe to do so. Meanwhile stay safe all you RPMers and keep the lovely tunes, words and pictures coming.”
Rocket 88 by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats (Ike Turner &The Kings of Rhythm)
“This has long been proposed as the first Rock'n'Roll Record and I'm offering two links to this song. The first has a short introduction by Ike Turner (up to 1.15) followed by the record itself overlaying lots of pictures of the subject of the song - an early American "Muscle" car.”
The second link, for those who like to consider these things, is a short talk by John Covach about the making of the record and whether it's claim to be the first Rock'n'Roll recording is valid. I'm pleased to have an original Chess 78 now approaching it's 70th birthday..
Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi - “Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora playing an acoustic version of this song. Wish I'd been in Covent Garden in 1994 when these two busked to a crowd of around 5000 for about half an hour.”
Electricity by Joni Mitchell – “Recorded in 1972 for the album "For The Roses". I often get this album out and never get tired of hearing any of the tracks on it but I always thought that the lyrics for this one, are so outstandingly clever.”
Jean – “It’s back to the singles and 3 of my earliest buys after I began working. These are all on the Atlantic Label and are Soul classics. Best wishes to all the gang. Thanks, again, Tim for this wonderful idea. It’s kept me focused and calm.”
Knock on Wood by Eddie Floyd 1966 - “Born in Alabama 1937 – grew up in Detroit. He was still performing in September 2017 with the Jules Holland Blues Band in tribute to 50 years of STAX Records. This song launched his career and over 100 artists – from Count Basie to David Bowie have made a cover of it. He has been a productive songwriter and fronted the Blue Brothers Band for several world tours and was a special guest on Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings Tour. He is named in the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
When a Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge 1966 – “Born 1941 in Alabama. Originally an orderly in a hospital during the week and a singer at weekends. A former patient introduced him to Quin Ivy who auditioned him and signed him up. This was the first Gold Record for Atlantic. During the 70s he toured a lot of the world and extensively in South Africa where he averaged 100 concerts per year. This song had a Renaissance in the 80s and in the 90s when Michael Bolton’s version reached No 1 in US singles chart. Percy toured with Sir Cliff in 2011 on his ‘Soulicious’ show. He had 12 children- 3 who became singers- and he died in 2015.
Sweet Soul Music by Arthur Conley 1967 – “Born in Georgia 1946. Grew up in Atlanta. Rewrote Sam Cooke’s ‘Yeah Man’ with Otis Redding to produce this song which won a Gold Disc. In the early 70s he re-located to Europe (it was reckoned that he had been barred from greater success in the US once it was known that he was gay). In 1977 he settled in the Netherlands and changed his name to Lee Roberts. In the 80s he had performance success as Lee Roberts and the Sweaters (perhaps not the best name ever!). He died in 2003.”
Piers – “It has been a strange week for me. But the tunes that I have been listening to………..”
Kettle Drum performed by 1651. From the album Cast A Bell – “One morning I woke to the morning show on Radio 3 and heard this track by ‘1651’ and then had to spend the whole of the morning tracking down a copy. Eventually, I found it on Discogs. I bought a brand-new copy for a fiver instead of the £26:97 that Amazon wanted to charge for a second hand copy.
Just in case anyone here doesn’t know it - https://www.discogs.com
I hope that by posting that link I am not condemning anyone to a lifetime of penury, (Like Me!). I have long admired Andy Cutting's work and have seen him live a number of times over the years. (For fans of Tradd. / Ska mashups it is well worth catching Edward the Second and the Red Hot Polkas). Anyway - Andy Cutting, Tim Harries & Mark Emerson - 1651 a band named after ‘the release date’… a tune taken from John Playfords original 1651 edition of ‘The Dancing Master’.”
Tree In The Valley by Jack Rose – “And an Italian Facebook friend introduced me to this recently, when I was playing lots of John Renbourn’s music.”
6345 – 789 by Wilson Pickett– “For the first time in 3+ months I performed with other people listening…….8 socially distanced people and occasionally, two cats, sat in a friends double garage and sang and played from 7:30 until 9:30 when darkness sent us home. I admit I suffered performance anxiety for the first time in years. ‘I was all thumbs’. Very odd.
This is one of the songs that I performed, on mandolin, and which was well received, (everybody likes to sing along with the chorus!)
Jayne – “Greetings mighty RPM colleagues; of the tracks that have crossed my aural space during the last few days, these are the ones that I’d like to share…….”
Iceberg by Wills and the Willing (Petr Čech on drums - if you’re interested you probably already know)
Get Lucky by Daft Punk (feat. Pharell Williams & Nile Rodgers)
It’ll All Be Over Soon - I, Ludicrous – “This, courtesy of my brother who is a huge fan (so much so that they put him on the guest list now).”
John – “Here are my selections for week 16....”
Sea of Immortality by Quintessence – “One of the most memorable gigs I attended in the early seventies was Quintessence in Norwich Cathedral (7th April 1972 - Tickets 50p from Bristows or Head in the Clouds). They were always an exceptional live act but on this occasion the whole experience was enhanced by the incense-filled majestic setting, the addition of the Ash Ram Singers and the ubiquitous Gentle Sound of Light. I saw them quite a few times between 1969 and 1972 at various places such as Earlham Park, The Weeley Festival and Norwich Lads Club!! This track features my third all-time favourite guitar solo....”
The Poacher by Ronnie Lane - “There are so many gems among Ronnie Lane's output during the period after he left The Faces and before his premature death; this is one of them.”
The Island by The Decemberists –“An epic track from their genre-defying album 'The Crane Wife'. (Well.... almost 'genre-defying'; Wikipedia will tell you it's indie rock, folk rock, progressive rock - I suppose, up to a point, they are quite correct.... but does it really matter? File under Great Music).”
Sal – “Here are my three tracks for this week...”
Martin by Soft Cell
She Said by Longpigs
This Love by Craig Armstrong featuring Elizabeth Fraser
Nina – “Hi folks. Hope everyone is doing OK. I've been listening to a lot of festival performances recently, my choices for the next while will reflect that.
Went to Reading Festival 1992 with Michelle my best mate from Cov in her orange, decrepit Talbot Sunbeam. Weather went from blazing sunshine to deluges of rain, we wallowed in the mud, were feral & free & had a blast.
Kurt Cobain was still alive & Nirvana headlined.
Richey Edwards was still in the Manics.
It was before Polly J decided to smother herself in slap & cavort around in a skintight pink PVC number.
Nick Cave was a godlike genius as ever.
Video & sound quality variable & authentic…………”
Motorcycle Emptiness by the Manics
Sheela-Na-Gig by P J Harvey
Mercy Seat by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (at the Paradiso, not Reading but it was in 1992).
Dave – “Hi fellow vinyl junkies……here’s my 3 off the week.”
Pale Blue Eyes by The Velvet Underground –
Touch Too Much by AC/DC –
Dance To The Storm by Hothouses Flowers -
Morra – “Watching David Bowie singing Breaking Glass, it reminded me of the story surrounding my first two choices…….but I ain’t got time to type it all……that’s what Google’s for.”
Breaking Glass by Nick Lowe -
Sound and Vision by David Bowie -
Madman performed by The Cuddly Toys – “The only song written by Bowie & Bolan together. Their version is such poor quality; how this Brilliant band managed to pull this version from it, is a miracle. They were a poor man’s Bowie in the early 80’s, wrote some great stuff, made 2 brilliant albums………I saw them a lot and enjoyed their debut album only yesterday.”
Tim – “Music dug out and played this week was inspired by Piers and Alan’s choices last time. Thanks, guys, for diverting my attention, otherwise it may have been another week of “Prog”, what with the arrival of the expanded Twelfth Night live CD (found via Discogs, Piers…..) and the new IQ album on blue vinyl. So, here’s the 3 fave tracks of the week…….”
Moanin’ performed by Davy Graham – “I’m a bit obsessed with this piece of music; it’s totally killer. Graham takes hold of the lead-off track from the first Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers LP released in 1959 and turns it into an acoustic guitar tour de force which appeared on his 1965 and second album Folk, Blues and Beyond…………I was then going to come up with a bunch of superlatives to describe this LP, which is pointless as it’s just one of the best and most influential acoustic guitar recordings ever……..that’s it.”
Black and Blue Bottom by Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti – “I discovered Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti a number of years ago through R. Crumb’s brilliant book, Heroes of Jazz, Blues and Country. Not only were the drawings great, it came with a CD as well. Upon hearing this track for the first time, and without knowing who the players were, I’d lay bets you’d say it was Django Reinhardt and Stéphan Grappelli. But this is from 1926 (eight years before the formation of their Hot Club ensemble in France) and in fact originates from America. As Piers noted last week, it’s Lang and Venuti’s music which sparked Django’s and Stéphane’s imaginations and, as musicians have continued to do down through the years, they acted upon their influences and ran with them, big time…….exactly what Led Zep did 36ish years later with the blues, in my opinion 😉. Listening to Black and Blue Bottom (possibly not the most PC tune title in the world nowadays……?) we have present and correct all the guitar trademarks that were to be grabbed by Django; multi chorded intro, driving “gypsy jazz” strumming rhythm and slightly dissonant jazzy guitar break mid-way through. I was almost shimmying in the shed with this on…….almost.”
Hot Lips performed by Django Reinhardt and Stéphan Grappelli – “Here we have the masters at work on what was previously a big band tune recorded in 1934 by Henry Busse and his Orchestra, but here given the full “Gypsy Jazz” make-over. See if you can spot the above-mentioned influences in this, my favourite Django / Grappelli tune recorded in 1937, three years after the formation of their Quintette du Hot Club de France. Talking of musicians being inspired by other musicians, Django influenced the sound of heavy metal masters, Black Sabbath……yes, really. Rock legend has it that on his last day of employment at a steel works, the day before he was to become a professional musician, riff master general Tony Iommi severed the finger tips on his left (fretting) hand on a machine. Learning that Django had also suffered serious injury to his left hand, but through perseverance relearnt how to play the guitar thus evolving his unique style, Iommi did the same himself by moulding “thimbles” for his finger tips from melted washing up liquid bottles and also by detuning his instrument considerably so there was less string tension. This inadvertently and fortuitously gave Sabbath their heavy doom-laden trademark sound. It’s also suggested that Iommi’s injury caused him to invent the power chord………..I’ll stop there before it gets too guitar-nerdy!”